Barely a week ago, multiple award winning rapper, Sarkodie dropped the much anticipated cypher tune, Trumpet. Albeit the track being released at a moment when the political weather was still rife, the track managed to defy the intensity of the politics in the atmosphere to garner attention from music critics, patrons and bloggers. Since its release, the track has already been subjected to comprehensive, expert and cogent reviews. Punchlines are being highlighted for interesting interpretations. I have been enjoying these interpretations and comments on the song. As a lay music listener, I have also been inspired to present my opinion on the song from a pedestrian perspective.
I think Sarkodie deserves commendation for assembling the rappers of the new era on this tune. Similarly, a cypher spearheaded by VRMG Leader, Edem was also released a couple of months ago. It was a remix of his single Egboame and the featured artistes included Gemini, Medikal, Teephlow, Ayat et al. In my opinion, it is laudable for artistes at the pinnacle of the game to assist in the progression of steadily rising artistes to the mainstream arena. These cyphers must be encouraged however, there must be diversification in the artistes featured to avoid the development of boredom and a potential irrelevance of this nature of tracks. On Trumpet, I concur with the opinion shared my most critics who have reviewed the song so far that Sarkodie should have laid some bars on the song. Albeit delivering a cool hook, I think he should have done more by delivering some bars. Some critics have tagged his move as an act of cowardice whilst others have viewed his move as a bossy attitude by positioning himself at the touchline to observe the star players of the new era battle it out on the field of play. I doubt it is an act of cowardice because Sarkodie has been doing collaborations with almost all the rappers he featured on Trumpet on previous tunes.
This is the second time Teephlow is being heard on a song with Sarkodie. On their first collaboration titled The Warning, Teephlow excellently exhibited his lyrical prowess with a mouth-watering flow which gained an overwhelming admiration from many lovers of rap music. I believe his performance on that tune earned him a spot on last year’s Rapperholic Concert when he treated the audience with a lovely performance of The Warning with Sarkodie. On Trumpet, Teephlow once again justified his expertise in the lyrical game. Notably, the wordplays he unleashed on the controversy laden beat were outstanding. Playing around names like Jack Wilshere, Grace Omaboe, Maame Dokono et al was brilliant.
Medikal is having a very good year as he is earning more support from hip hop/rap lovers. Earlier this year, he managed to marvelously mimick his favourite rappers on a tune. Barely 3 months ago, he also released a remix of his hit single, Confirm featuring Sarkodie. These feats chalked have given him high ratings amidst the heightening of expectations from him. I think he met expectations on Trumpet. I’ve noticed that one of his strengths as a rapper is his ability to employ clever metaphors and wordplays in his lyrics. In my opinion, Medikal and Teephlow are the best in this aspect of rap. My favourite line from Medikal’s verse on Trumpet was “I never dey run out of bars like El Chapo”. Those who know the profile of the famous Mexican jail breaker, El Chapo would be able to appreciate the intelligence in this line very well. I must also state my admiration for how Medikal usually tries to vary his style and pace of his flow. However, I think Medikal is sometimes suspect with his timing/delivery. I hope he would be able to rehearse with more instrumentals to improve upon his timing and delivery.
Strongman is one of the rappers Sarkodie has been making an unrelenting effort to push into the limelight. He has been heard on several tunes with Sarkodie. Mention can be made of “3ny3 de3 Ehia ni”, “Tonight” and “Pieto Datso” before Trumpet. As expected, he was excellent with his verse on Trumpet. He delivered interesting lines with a very good flow. His final line which related his rap to a prostitute at ‘circle’ has been one of the most highlighted lines on this cypher. However, in my view I think Strongman should do his best to minimize his usage of similes and metaphors in relation to his rap. Enough of the “me rap te s3….me rap ay3 s3” lines.
The only rapper on Trumpet who is being heard on a tune with Sarkodie for the first time is former MTN Hitmaker winner, Koo Ntakra. I admire him for how indigenous he sounds when he raps. He usually delivers in the classical way of rapping with an impeccable Akuapem Twi. Some critics have described his style as outmoded and too local. In my view, It would not be erroneous to posit that almost all or most of these critics are hip hop lovers residing in the urban communities who are obsessed with contemporary rap styles. I see it as a matter of choice to go the typical indigenous way. Nevertheless, I think he should do a little polishing of his style by modernizing it slightly to appeal to more contemporary rap listeners. I enjoyed his verse on Trumpet. I think the line “Wode watch ab? wo sisi, you dey waste/waist your time” was an excellent line.
The graduate of Sarkodie’s Rap University has been working very hard to gain satisfactory traction over the past 12 months. His collaborations with Kofi Kinaata, whom most critics have been disappointed with his absence on Trumpet were marvelous. He featured Sarkodie and Piesie on a street banger named “Club” earlier this year. He impressed me on this cypher by going in very hard on this tune. He administered his flow very well despite the relatively low presence of stimulating punchlines in his verse. However, I think this line culled from his verse was a good one: “I’m blowing my trumpet and singing along, multi-tasking, anthem Ephraim Amu.”
The last time ‘The Fante Van Damme’ collaborated with ‘The Highest’ was on Ay3 late which was a success. They also have an unreleased tune christened Legacy. The introduction to his verse on Trumpet was a creative vibe, adding a unique flavour to the tune. His delivery impressed many critics including myself despite the absence of potent punchlines in his verse. Wrapping it up on Pappy Kojo, I am of the conviction that he also deserves some commendation for making efforts to support up and coming Takoradi based rapper, Akiti Woro Woro.
There has been a heap of controversy surrounding the beat patronized for the cypher. The originality of the beat has been challenged as evidence is being adduced to substantiate the allegation of a plagiarization of the beat. Some commentators however view this controversy as a deliberate move to attract more attention for the tune. Despite this development, I hold the assertion that the beat was technically an appropriate one for this track.
Generally, I would posit that the cypher was a brilliant piece. All the rappers featured on the tune did very well in my opinion. With regard to a specific rating of their performance, an unjustified element of reluctance is preventing from doing so but I hold the view that the positioning or the order of arrangement of their verses from the beginning of the track to the end was nearly an accurate reflection of how they fared on the cypher.
Credit: Seth Mireku